Canada

de Havilland opens aircraft manufacturing plant east of Calgary

Prime Minister Jason Kenny said the new facility would help employ 1,500 manufacturing workers

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Canada’s de Havilland Aircraft plans to build a large new aircraft manufacturing plant east of Calgary. The facility could bring up to 1,500 jobs to the area.

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Plans are underway for a complex called de Havilland Field, located in Wheatland County between Chestermere and Strathmore, about 30 minutes east of Calgary.

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On a large campus, Runways, aircraft assembly facilities, parts manufacturing and distribution centers, maintenance and repair operations.

From one of the company’s facilities near Calgary International Airport Wednesday afternoon, de Havilland CEO Brian Chafe said:

“De Havilland Airfield will be a complete aerospace campus, from aircraft manufacturing, assembly, delivery, research and development, educational facilities and distribution.”

Cheyff described the campus as a future anchor for de Havilland’s operations, supporting ongoing business at a customer support center in Toronto and a parts manufacturing facility in Victoria.

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The facility will be the final assembly site for the company’s new DHC-515 Firefighter, DHC-6 Twin Otter and Dash 8-400 aircraft once the company resumes production.

Several de Havilland officials teased Prime Minister Jason Kenny at a Toronto press conference for accidentally preempting the announcement earlier in the day, hours before the company had the chance to do so. Kenny explained that it was due to his excitement about the future of aviation in Alberta.

“Albertans have long known that diversification needed to be ramped up.

“That’s exactly what’s happening. That’s why I’m so excited about today’s announcement. Sorry for letting the cat out of the bag.”

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Kenny said the aviation industry has strong prospects for the province, which, along with other potential investments from the industry he teased, would be a “game-changing” boost for Alberta’s economy. said.

“When we talked in the COVID valley in the spring/summer of 2020, we may have been a little skeptical that Alberta could become a North American aviation hub,” Kenny said.

“But when we look at all the natural advantages the state has, it makes sense to say, ‘Aviation is going to be a big part of our future.’ Today, that dream is Technicolor-enabled, cutting-edge, world-leading on-campus aerospace, de Havilland Field could employ up to 1,500 Albertans in high-paying jobs over the next few years. ”

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Brian Chafe, CEO of De Havilland Canada, will speak during the announcement on Wednesday.
Brian Chafe, CEO of De Havilland Canada, will speak during the announcement on Wednesday. Gavin Young/Postmedia

Reeve Amber Rink of Wheatland County broke down in tears as she thanked de Havilland officials for choosing a rural municipality for the new campus.

“Given this situation, Wheatland County has a population of just under 9,000, so development of this scale is staggering,” she said.

“This makes sense for southern Alberta and rural Alberta for companies to move their headquarters to rural municipalities and work with stakeholders, residents and neighboring municipalities to move to Wheatland County. Trusting that it works is huge and there are no words to describe how much it means to our community.”

Some of the work to be done at de Havilland’s new Calgary plant has historically been done at Toronto’s Downsview Airport, which Bombardier sold earlier this year. The company moved its headquarters from Toronto to Calgary this year.

de Havilland Scheduled for late 2023, with some operations likely to begin in 2025, Chafe told Postmedia that the complex will cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

— Using files from Chris Varcoe

mrodriguez@postmedia.com

twitter: @michaelrdrguez

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de Havilland opens aircraft manufacturing plant east of Calgary

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